Some 82% of 500 ITmanagers surveyed by recruitment consultancy Computer People also felt that technology was given a low priority by the board.
The firm surveyed 500 company directors and 500 senior IT managers to examine the levels of influence that IT professionals have in UK companies and to establish where IT ranks on the management agenda.
Of the IT professionals surveyed 50% rated their chances of reaching the board within the next two years as "unlikely", 35% said that they had "no chance", and only 5% rated their chances "very good".
Of the company directors surveyed, 75% said a lack of all-round business skills was holding back IT managers, whose skills were perceived as too specialised for the boardroom.
Carole Hepburn, commercial director of Computer People, believes that IT professionals need to raise their profile within their organisations if they are to reach the board.
"IT professionals need to promote their contribution to a company's success more effectively and business needs to wake up to the vital role that their IT managers perform." She said they had the power to make or break their company.